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2.  Effect of an Educational Toolkit on Quality of Care: A Pragmatic Cluster Randomized Trial 
PLoS Medicine  2014;11(2):e1001588.
In a pragmatic cluster-randomized trial, Baiju Shah and colleagues evaluated the effectiveness of printed educational materials for clinician education focusing on cardiovascular disease screening and risk reduction in people with diabetes.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Background
Printed educational materials for clinician education are one of the most commonly used approaches for quality improvement. The objective of this pragmatic cluster randomized trial was to evaluate the effectiveness of an educational toolkit focusing on cardiovascular disease screening and risk reduction in people with diabetes.
Methods and Findings
All 933,789 people aged ≥40 years with diagnosed diabetes in Ontario, Canada were studied using population-level administrative databases, with additional clinical outcome data collected from a random sample of 1,592 high risk patients. Family practices were randomly assigned to receive the educational toolkit in June 2009 (intervention group) or May 2010 (control group). The primary outcome in the administrative data study, death or non-fatal myocardial infarction, occurred in 11,736 (2.5%) patients in the intervention group and 11,536 (2.5%) in the control group (p = 0.77). The primary outcome in the clinical data study, use of a statin, occurred in 700 (88.1%) patients in the intervention group and 725 (90.1%) in the control group (p = 0.26). Pre-specified secondary outcomes, including other clinical events, processes of care, and measures of risk factor control, were also not improved by the intervention. A limitation is the high baseline rate of statin prescribing in this population.
Conclusions
The educational toolkit did not improve quality of care or cardiovascular outcomes in a population with diabetes. Despite being relatively easy and inexpensive to implement, printed educational materials were not effective. The study highlights the need for a rigorous and scientifically based approach to the development, dissemination, and evaluation of quality improvement interventions.
Trial Registration
http://www.ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01411865 and NCT01026688
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Clinical practice guidelines help health care providers deliver the best care to patients by combining all the evidence on disease management into specific recommendations for care. However, the implementation of evidence-based guidelines is often far from perfect. Take the example of diabetes. This common chronic disease, which is characterized by high levels of sugar (glucose) in the blood, impairs the quality of life of patients and shortens life expectancy by increasing the risk of cardiovascular diseases (conditions that affect the heart and circulation) and other life-threatening conditions. Patients need complex care to manage the multiple risk factors (high blood sugar, high blood pressure, high levels of fat in the blood) that are associated with the long-term complications of diabetes, and they need to be regularly screened and treated for these complications. Clinical practice guidelines for diabetes provide recommendations on screening and diagnosis, drug treatment, and cardiovascular disease risk reduction, and on helping patients self-manage their disease. Unfortunately, the care delivered to patients with diabetes frequently fails to meet the standards laid down in these guidelines.
Why Was This Study Done?
How can guideline adherence and the quality of care provided to patients be improved? A common approach is to send printed educational materials to clinicians. For example, when the Canadian Diabetes Association (CDA) updated its clinical practice guidelines in 2008, it mailed educational toolkits that contained brochures and other printed materials targeting key themes from the guidelines to family physicians. In this pragmatic cluster randomized trial, the researchers investigate the effect of the CDA educational toolkit that targeted cardiovascular disease screening and treatment on the quality of care of people with diabetes. A pragmatic trial asks whether an intervention works under real-life conditions and whether it works in terms that matter to the patient; a cluster randomized trial randomly assigns groups of people to receive alternative interventions and compares outcomes in the differently treated “clusters.”
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers randomly assigned family practices in Ontario, Canada to receive the educational toolkit in June 2009 (intervention group) or in May 2010 (control group). They examined outcomes between July 2009 and April 2010 in all patients with diabetes in Ontario aged over 40 years (933,789 people) using population-level administrative data. In Canada, administrative databases record the personal details of people registered with provincial health plans, information on hospital visits and prescriptions, and physician service claims for consultations, assessments, and diagnostic and therapeutic procedures. They also examined clinical outcome data from a random sample of 1,592 patients at high risk of cardiovascular complications. In the administrative data study, death or non-fatal heart attack (the primary outcome) occurred in about 11,500 patients in both the intervention and control group. In the clinical data study, the primary outcome―use of a statin to lower blood fat levels―occurred in about 700 patients in both study groups. Secondary outcomes, including other clinical events, processes of care, and measures of risk factor control were also not improved by the intervention. Indeed, in the administrative data study, some processes of care outcomes related to screening for heart disease were statistically significantly worse in the intervention group than in the control group, and in the clinical data study, fewer patients in the intervention group reached blood pressure targets than in the control group.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings suggest that the CDA cardiovascular diseases educational toolkit did not improve quality of care or cardiovascular outcomes in a population with diabetes. Indeed, the toolkit may have led to worsening in some secondary outcomes although, because numerous secondary outcomes were examined, this may be a chance finding. Limitations of the study include its length, which may have been too short to see an effect of the intervention on clinical outcomes, and the possibility of a ceiling effect—the control group in the clinical data study generally had good care, which left little room for improvement of the quality of care in the intervention group. Overall, however, these findings suggest that printed educational materials may not be an effective way to improve the quality of care for patients with diabetes and other complex conditions and highlight the need for a rigorous, scientific approach to the development, dissemination, and evaluation of quality improvement interventions.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001588.
The US National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse provides information about diabetes for patients, health care professionals, and the general public (in English and Spanish)
The UK National Health Service Choices website provides information (including some personal stories) for patients and carers about type 2 diabetes, the commonest form of diabetes
The Canadian Diabetes Association also provides information about diabetes for patients (including some personal stories about living with diabetes) and health care professionals; its latest clinical practice guidelines are available on its website
The UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence provides general information about clinical guidelines and about health care quality standards in the UK
The US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality aims to improve the quality, safety, efficiency, and effectiveness of health care for all Americans (information in English and Spanish); the US National Guideline Clearinghouse is a searchable database of clinical practice guidelines
The International Diabetes Federation provides information about diabetes for patients and health care professionals, along with international statistics on the burden of diabetes
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001588
PMCID: PMC3913553  PMID: 24505216
3.  The development of a guideline implementability tool (GUIDE-IT): a qualitative study of family physician perspectives 
BMC Family Practice  2014;15:19.
Background
The potential of clinical practice guidelines has not been realized due to inconsistent adoption in clinical practice. Optimising intrinsic characteristics of guidelines (e.g., its wording and format) that are associated with uptake (as perceived by their end users) may have potential. Using findings from a realist review on guideline uptake and consultation with experts in guideline development, we designed a conceptual version of a future tool called Guideline Implementability Tool (GUIDE-IT). The tool will aim to involve family physicians in the guideline development process by providing a process to assess draft guideline recommendations. This feedback will then be given back to developers to consider when finalizing the recommendations. As guideline characteristics are best assessed by end-users, the objectives of the current study were to explore how family physicians perceive guideline implementability, and to determine what components should comprise the final GUIDE-IT prototype.
Methods
We conducted a qualitative study with family physicians inToronto, Ontario. Two experienced investigators conducted one-hour interviews with family physicians using a semi-structured interview guide to 1) elicit feedback on perceptions on guideline implementability; 2) to generate a discussion in response to three draft recommendations; and 3) to provide feedback on the conceptual GUIDE-IT. Sessions were audio taped and transcribed verbatim. Data collection and analysis were guided by content analyses.
Results
20 family physicians participated. They perceived guideline uptake according to facilitators and barriers across 6 categories of guideline implementability (format, content, language, usability, development, and the practice environment). Participants’ feedback on 3 draft guideline recommendations were grouped according to guideline perception, cognition, and agreement. When asked to comment on GUIDE-IT, most respondents believed that the tool would be useful, but urged to involve “regular” or community family physicians in the process, and suggested that an online system would be the most efficient way to deliver it.
Conclusions
Our study identified facilitators and barriers of guideline implementability from the perspective of community and academic family physicians that will be used to build our GUIDE-IT prototype. Our findings build on current knowledge by showing that family physicians perceive guideline uptake mostly according to factors that are in the control of guideline developers.
doi:10.1186/1471-2296-15-19
PMCID: PMC4016596  PMID: 24476491
Guideline implementability; Family practice; Knowledge translation; Qualitative
4.  Universal Drug Coverage and Socioeconomic Disparities in Major Diabetes Outcomes 
Diabetes Care  2012;35(11):2257-2264.
OBJECTIVE
Due in large part to effective pharmacotherapy, mortality rates have fallen substantially among those with diabetes; however, trends have been less favorable among those of lower socioeconomic status (SES), leading to a widening gap in mortality between rich and poor. We examined whether income disparities in diabetes-related morbidity or mortality decline after age 65 in a setting where much of health care is publicly funded yet universal drug coverage starts only at age 65.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
We conducted a population-based retrospective cohort study using administrative health claims from Ontario, Canada. Adults with diabetes (N = 606,051) were followed from 1 April 2002 to 31 March 2008 for a composite outcome of death, nonfatal acute myocardial infarction (AMI), and nonfatal stroke. SES was based on neighborhood median household income levels from the 2001 Canadian Census.
RESULTS
SES was a strong predictor of death, nonfatal AMI, or nonfatal stroke among those <65 years of age (adjusted hazard ratio [HR] 1.51 [95% CI 1.45–1.56]) and exerted a lesser effect among those ≥65 years of age (1.12 [1.09–1.14]; P < 0.0001 for interaction), after adjusting for age, sex, baseline cardiovascular disease (CVD), diabetes duration, comorbidity, and health care utilization. SES gradients were consistent for all groups <65 years of age. Similar findings were noted for 1-year post-AMI mortality (<65 years of age, 1.33 [1.09–1.63]; ≥65 years of age, 1.09 [1.01–1.18]).
CONCLUSIONS
Observed SES differences in CVD burden diminish substantially after age 65 in our population with diabetes, which may be related to universal access to prescription drugs among seniors.
doi:10.2337/dc12-0364
PMCID: PMC3476904  PMID: 22891257
5.  Making sense of complex data: a mapping process for analyzing findings of a realist review on guideline implementability 
Background
Realist reviews offer a rigorous method to analyze heterogeneous data emerging from multiple disciplines as a means to develop new concepts, understand the relationships between them, and identify the evidentiary base underpinning them. However, emerging synthesis methods such as the Realist Review are not well operationalized and may be difficult for the novice researcher to grasp. The objective of this paper is to describe the development of an analytic process to organize and synthesize data from a realist review.
Methods
Clinical practice guidelines have had an inconsistent and modest impact on clinical practice, which may in part be due to limitations in their design. This study illustrates the development of a transparent method for organizing and analyzing a complex data set informed by a Realist Review on guideline implementability to better understand the characteristics of guidelines that affect their uptake in practice (e.g., clarity, format). The data organization method consisted of 4 levels of refinement: 1) extraction and 2) organization of data; 3) creation of a conceptual map of guideline implementability; and 4) the development of a codebook of definitions.
Results
This new method is comprised of four steps: data extraction, data organization, development of a conceptual map, and operationalization vis-a-vis a codebook. Applying this method, we extracted 1736 guideline attributes from 278 articles into a consensus-based set of categories, and collapsed them into 5 core conceptual domains for our guideline implementability map: Language, Format, Rigor of development, Feasibility, Decision-making.
Conclusions
This study advances analysis methods by offering a systematic approach to analyzing complex data sets where the goals are to condense, organize and identify relationships.
doi:10.1186/1471-2288-13-112
PMCID: PMC3848005  PMID: 24028286
8.  Designing and evaluating a web-based self-management site for patients with type 2 diabetes - systematic website development and study protocol 
Background
Given that patients provide the majority of their own diabetes care, patient self-management training has increasingly become recognized as an important strategy with which to improve quality of care. However, participation in self management programs is low. In addition, the efficacy of current behavioural interventions wanes over time, reducing the impact of self-management interventions on patient health. Web-based interventions have the potential to bridge the gaps in diabetes care and self-management.
Methods
Our objective is to improve self-efficacy, quality of life, self-care, blood pressure, cholesterol and glycemic control and promote exercise in people with type 2 diabetes through the rigorous development and use of a web-based patient self-management intervention. This study consists of five phases: (1) intervention development; (2) feasibility testing; (3) usability testing; (4) intervention refinement; and (5) intervention evaluation using mixed methods. We will employ evidence-based strategies and tools, using a theoretical framework of self-efficacy, then elicit user feedback through focus groups and individual user testing sessions. Using iterative redesign the intervention will be refined. Once finalized, the impact of the website on patient self-efficacy, quality of life, self-care, HbA1c, LDL-cholesterol, blood pressure and weight will be assessed through a non-randomized observational cohort study using repeated measures modeling and individual interviews.
Discussion
Increasing use of the World Wide Web by consumers for health information and ongoing revolutions in social media are strong indicators that users are primed to welcome a new era of technology in health care. However, their full potential is hindered by limited knowledge regarding their effectiveness, poor usability, and high attrition rates. Our development and research agenda aims to address these limitations by improving usability, identifying characteristics associated with website use and attrition, and developing strategies to sustain patient use in order to maximize clinical outcomes.
doi:10.1186/1472-6947-12-57
PMCID: PMC3473319  PMID: 22726578
Diabetes mellitus; Self care; Patient education; Self-efficacy; Medical informatics; Intervention development; Study protocol; User-Computer Interface; Repeated measures modeling; Qualitative methods
9.  The guideline implementability research and application network (GIRAnet): an international collaborative to support knowledge exchange: study protocol 
Background
Modifying the format and content of guidelines may facilitate their use and lead to improved quality of care. We reviewed the medical literature to identify features desired by different users and associated with guideline use to develop a framework of implementability and found that most guidelines do not contain these elements. Further research is needed to develop and evaluate implementability tools.
Methods
We are launching the Guideline Implementability Research and Application Network (GIRAnet) to enable the development and testing of implementability tools in three domains: Resource Implications, Implementation, and Evaluation. Partners include the Guidelines International Network (G-I-N) and its member guideline developers, implementers, and researchers. In phase one, international guidelines will be examined to identify and describe exemplar tools. Indication-specific and generic tools will populate a searchable repository. In phase two, qualitative analysis of cognitive interviews will be used to understand how developers can best integrate implementability tools in guidelines and how health professionals use them for interpreting and applying guidelines. In phase three, a small-scale pilot test will assess the impact of implementability tools based on quantitative analysis of chart-based behavioural outcomes and qualitative analysis of interviews with participants. The findings will be used to plan a more comprehensive future evaluation of implementability tools.
Discussion
Infrastructure funding to establish GIRAnet will be leveraged with the in-kind contributions of collaborating national and international guideline developers to advance our knowledge of implementation practice and science. Needs assessment and evaluation of GIRAnet will provide a greater understanding of how to develop and sustain such knowledge-exchange networks. Ultimately, by facilitating use of guidelines, this research may lead to improved delivery and outcomes of patient care.
doi:10.1186/1748-5908-7-26
PMCID: PMC3338081  PMID: 22471937
Guidelines; Guideline development; Guideline implementation; Research networks; Knowledge exchange
12.  WikiBuild: A New Online Collaboration Process For Multistakeholder Tool Development and Consensus Building 
Background
Production of media such as patient education tools requires methods that can integrate multiple stakeholder perspectives. Existing consensus techniques are poorly suited to design of visual media, can be expensive and logistically demanding, and are subject to caveats arising from group dynamics such as participant hierarchies.
Objective
Our objective was to develop a method that enables multistakeholder tool building while averting these difficulties.
Methods
We developed a wiki-inspired method and tested this through the collaborative design of an asthma action plan (AAP). In the development stage, we developed the Web-based tool by (1) establishing AAP content and format options, (2) building a Web-based application capable of representing each content and format permutation, (3) testing this tool among stakeholders, and (4) revising this tool based on stakeholder feedback. In the wiki stage, groups of participants used the revised tool in three separate 1-week “wiki” periods during which each group collaboratively authored an AAP by making multiple online selections.
Results
In the development stage, we recruited 16 participants (9/16 male) (4 pulmonologists, 4 primary care physicians, 3 certified asthma educators, and 5 patients) for system testing. The mean System Usability Scale (SUS) score for the tool used in testing was 72.2 (SD 10.2). In the wiki stage, we recruited 41 participants (15/41 male) (9 pulmonologists, 6 primary care physicians, 5 certified asthma educators, and 21 patients) from diverse locations. The mean SUS score for the revised tool was 75.9 (SD 19.6). Users made 872, 466, and 599 successful changes to the AAP in weeks 1, 2, and 3, respectively. The site was used actively for a mean of 32.0 hours per week, of which 3.1 hours per week (9.7%) constituted synchronous multiuser use (2–4 users at the same time). Participants averaged 23 (SD 33) minutes of login time and made 7.7 (SD 15) changes to the AAP per day. Among participants, 28/35 (80%) were satisfied with the final AAP, and only 3/34 (9%) perceived interstakeholder group hierarchies.
Conclusion
Use of a wiki-inspired method allowed for effective collaborative design of content and format aspects of an AAP while minimizing logistical requirements, maximizing geographical representation, and mitigating hierarchical group dynamics. Our method faced unique software and hardware challenges, and raises certain questions regarding its effect on group functioning. Potential uses of our method are broad, and further studies are required.
doi:10.2196/jmir.1833
PMCID: PMC3278094  PMID: 22155694
Consensus; focus groups; user-computer interface; Web 2.0; asthma; self-care
13.  Activating the knowledge-to-action cycle for geriatric care in India 
Despite a rapidly aging population, geriatrics - the branch of medicine that focuses on healthcare of the elderly - is relatively new in India, with many practicing physicians having little knowledge of the clinical and functional implications of aging. Negative attitudes and limited awareness, knowledge or acceptance of geriatrics as a legitimate discipline contribute to inaccessible and poor quality care for India's old. The aim of this paper is to argue that knowledge translation is a potentially effective tool for engaging Indian healthcare providers in the delivery of high quality geriatric care. The paper describes India's context, including demographics, challenges and current policies, summarizes evidence on provider behaviour change, and integrates the two in order to propose an action plan for promoting improvements in geriatric care.
doi:10.1186/1478-4505-9-42
PMCID: PMC3254590  PMID: 22136552
14.  Challenges to the provision of diabetes care in first nations communities: results from a national survey of healthcare providers in Canada 
Background
Aboriginal peoples globally, and First Nations peoples in Canada particularly, suffer from high rates of type 2 diabetes and related complications compared with the general population. Research into the unique barriers faced by healthcare providers working in on-reserve First Nations communities is essential for developing effective quality improvement strategies.
Methods
In Phase I of this two-phased study, semi-structured interviews and focus groups were held with 24 healthcare providers in the Sioux Lookout Zone in north-western Ontario. A follow-up survey was conducted in Phase II as part of a larger project, the Canadian First Nations Diabetes Clinical Management and Epidemiologic (CIRCLE) study. The survey was completed with 244 healthcare providers in 19 First Nations communities in 7 Canadian provinces, representing three isolation levels (isolated, semi-isolated, non-isolated). Interviews, focus groups and survey questions all related to barriers to providing optimal diabetes care in First Nations communities.
Results
the key factors emerging from interviews and focus group discussions were at the patient, provider, and systemic level. Survey results indicated that, across three isolation levels, healthcare providers' perceived patient factors as having the largest impact on diabetes care. However, physicians and nurses were more likely to rank patient factors as having a large impact on care than community health representatives (CHRs) and physicians were significantly less likely to rank patient-provider communication as having a large impact than CHRs.
Conclusions
Addressing patient factors was considered the highest impact strategy for improving diabetes care. While this may reflect "patient blaming," it also suggests that self-management strategies may be well-suited for this context. Program planning should focus on training programs for CHRs, who provide a unique link between patients and clinical services. Research incorporating patient perspectives is needed to complete this picture and inform quality improvement initiatives.
doi:10.1186/1472-6963-11-283
PMCID: PMC3212958  PMID: 22018097
15.  Narcotic analgesic utilization amongst injured workers: using concept mapping to understand current issues from the perspectives of physicians and pharmacists 
Background
Work-related injuries result in considerable morbidity, as well as social and economic costs. Pain associated with these injuries is a complex, contested topic, and narcotic analgesics (NA) remain important treatment options. Factors contributing to NA utilization patterns are poorly understood. This qualitative study sought to characterize the factors contributing to NA utilization amongst injured workers from the perspectives of physicians and pharmacists.
Methods
The study employed concept mapping methodology, a structured process yielding a conceptual framework of participants' views on a particular topic. A visual display of the ideas/concepts generated is produced. Eligible physicians and pharmacists (n = 22) serving injured workers in the province of Ontario (Canada) were recruited via purposive sampling, and participated in concept mapping activities (consisting of brainstorming, sorting, rating, and map exploration). Participants identified factors influencing NA utilization, and sorted these factors into categories (clusters). Next, they rated the factors on two scales: 'strength of influence on NA over-utilization' and 'amenability to intervention'. During follow-up focus groups, participants refined the maps and discussed the findings and their implications.
Results
82 factors were sorted into 7 clusters: addiction risks, psychosocial issues, social/work environment factors, systemic-third party factors, pharmacy-related factors, treatment problems, and physician factors. These clusters were grouped into 2 overarching categories/regions on the map: patient-level factors, and healthcare/compensation system-level factors. Participants rated NA over-utilization as most influenced by patient-level factors, while system-level factors were rated as most amenable to intervention. One system-level cluster was rated highly on both scales (treatment problems - e.g. poor continuity of care, poor interprofessional communication, lack of education/support for physicians regarding pain management, unavailability of multidisciplinary team-based care, prolonged wait times to see specialists).
Conclusions
Participants depicted factors driving NA utilization among injured workers as complex. Patient-level factors were perceived as most influential on over-utilization, while system-level factors were considered most amenable to intervention. This has implications for intervention design, suggesting that systemic/structural factors should be taken into account in order to address this important health issue.
doi:10.1186/1472-6963-11-280
PMCID: PMC3212981  PMID: 22014008
17.  Understanding the relationship between the perceived characteristics of clinical practice guidelines and their uptake: protocol for a realist review 
Background
Clinical practice guidelines have the potential to facilitate the implementation of evidence into practice, support clinical decision making, specify beneficial therapeutic approaches, and influence public policy. However, these potential benefits have not been consistently achieved. The limited impact of guidelines can be attributed to organisational constraints, the complexity of the guidelines, and the lack of usability testing or end-user involvement in their development. Implementability has been referred to as the perceived characteristics of guidelines that predict the relative ease of their implementation at the clinical level, but this concept is as yet poorly defined. The objective of our study is to identify guideline attributes that affect uptake in practice by considering evidence from four disciplines (medicine, psychology, management, human factors engineering) to determine the relationship between the perceived characteristics of recommendations and their uptake and to develop a framework of implementability.
Methods
A realist-review approach to knowledge synthesis will be used to understand attributes of guidelines (e.g., its text and content) and how changing these elements might impact clinical practice and clinical decision making. It also allows for the exploration of 'what works for whom, in what circumstances, and in what respects'. The realist review will be structured according to Pawson's five practical steps in realist reviews: (1) clarifying the scope of the review, (2) determining the search strategy, (3) ensuring proper article selection and study quality assessment, (4) extracting and organising data, and (5) synthesising the evidence and drawing conclusions. Data will be synthesised according to a two-stage analysis: (1) we will extract and define all relevant guideline attributes from the different disciplines, then create a shortlist of unique attributes and investigate their relationships with uptake, and (2) we will compare and contrast the attributes and guideline uptake within each and between the four disciplines to create a robust framework of implementability.
Discussion
Creating guidelines that are designed to maximise uptake may be a potentially effective and inexpensive way of increasing their impact. However, this is best achieved by a comprehensive framework to inform the design of guidelines drawing on a range of disciplines that study behaviour change. This study will use a customised realist-review approach to synthesising the literature to better understand and operationalise a complex and under-theorised concept.
doi:10.1186/1748-5908-6-69
PMCID: PMC3224565  PMID: 21733160
19.  Developing a Performance Measurement Framework and Indicators for Community Health Service Facilities in Urban China 
BMC Family Practice  2010;11:91.
Background
China has had no effective and systematic information system to provide guidance for strengthening PHC (Primary Health Care) or account to citizens on progress. We report on the development of the China results-based Logic Model for Community Health Facilities and Stations (CHS) and a set of relevant PHC indicators intended to measure CHS priorities.
Methods
We adapted the PHC Results Based Logic Model developed in Canada and current work conducted in the community health system in China to create the China CHS Logic Model framework. We used a staged approach by first constructing the framework and indicators and then validating their content through an interactive process involving policy analysis, critical review of relevant literature and multiple stakeholder consultation.
Results
The China CHS Logic Model includes inputs, activities, outputs and outcomes with a total of 287 detailed performance indicators. In these indicators, 31 indicators measure inputs, 64 measure activities, 105 measure outputs, and 87 measure immediate (n = 65), intermediate (n = 15), or final (n = 7) outcomes.
Conclusion
A Logic Model framework can be useful in planning, implementation, analysis and evaluation of PHC at a system and service level. The development and content validation of the China CHS Logic Model and subsequent indicators provides a means for stronger accountability and a clearer sense of overall direction and purpose needed to renew and strengthen the PHC system in China. Moreover, this work will be useful in moving towards developing a PHC information system and performance measurement across districts in urban China, and guiding the pursuit of quality in PHC.
doi:10.1186/1471-2296-11-91
PMCID: PMC2999588  PMID: 21087516
20.  Canadian Thoracic Society: Presenting a new process for clinical practice guideline production 
A key mandate of the Canadian Thoracic Society (CTS) is to promote evidence-based respiratory care through clinical practice guidelines (CPGs). To improve the quality and validity of the production, dissemination and implementation of its CPGs, the CTS has revised its guideline process and has created the Canadian Respiratory Guidelines Committee to oversee this process. The present document outlines the basic methodological tools and principles of the new CTS guideline production process. Important features include standard methods for choosing and formulating optimal questions and for finding, appraising, and summarizing the evidence; use of the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation system for rating the quality of evidence and strength of recommendations; use of the Appraisal of Guidelines for Research and Evaluation instrument for quality control during and after guideline development and for appraisal of other guidelines; use of the ADAPTE process for adaptation of existing guidelines to the local context; and use of the GuideLine Implementability Appraisal tool to augment implementability of guidelines. The CTS has also committed to develop guidelines in new areas, an annual guideline review cycle, and a new formal process for dissemination and implementation. Ultimately, it is anticipated that these changes will have a significant impact on the quality of care and clinical outcomes of individuals suffering from respiratory diseases across Canada.
PMCID: PMC2807796  PMID: 20011719
Clinical practice guideline; Evidence-based medicine; Guideline adherence; Practice guidelines
21.  Innovative health service delivery models in low and middle income countries - what can we learn from the private sector? 
Background
The poor in low and middle income countries have limited access to health services due to limited purchasing power, residence in underserved areas, and inadequate health literacy. This produces significant gaps in health care delivery among a population that has a disproportionately large burden of disease. They frequently use the private health sector, due to perceived or actual gaps in public services. A subset of private health organizations, some called social enterprises, have developed novel approaches to increase the availability, affordability and quality of health care services to the poor through innovative health service delivery models. This study aims to characterize these models and identify areas of innovation that have led to effective provision of care for the poor.
Methods
An environmental scan of peer-reviewed and grey literature was conducted to select exemplars of innovation. A case series of organizations was then purposively sampled to maximize variation. These cases were examined using content analysis and constant comparison to characterize their strategies, focusing on business processes.
Results
After an initial sample of 46 studies, 10 case studies of exemplars were developed spanning different geography, disease areas and health service delivery models. These ten organizations had innovations in their marketing, financing, and operating strategies. These included approaches such a social marketing, cross-subsidy, high-volume, low cost models, and process reengineering. They tended to have a narrow clinical focus, which facilitates standardizing processes of care, and experimentation with novel delivery models. Despite being well-known, information on the social impact of these organizations was variable, with more data on availability and affordability and less on quality of care.
Conclusions
These private sector organizations demonstrate a range of innovations in health service delivery that have the potential to better serve the poor's health needs and be replicated. There is a growing interest in investing in social enterprises, like the ones profiled here. However, more rigorous evaluations are needed to investigate the impact and quality of the health services provided and determine the effectiveness of particular strategies.
doi:10.1186/1478-4505-8-24
PMCID: PMC3236300  PMID: 20630108
22.  Evaluation of a toolkit to improve cardiovascular disease screening and treatment for people with type 2 diabetes: protocol for a cluster-randomized pragmatic trial 
Trials  2010;11:44.
Background
The gap between the level of care recommended by evidence-based clinical practice guidelines and the actual care delivered to patients in practice has been well established. The Canadian Diabetes Association (CDA) created an implementation strategy to improve the implementation of its 2008 guidelines. This study will evaluate the impact of the strategy to improve cardiovascular disease (CVD) screening, prevention and treatment for people with diabetes.
Design
A pragmatic cluster-randomized trial will be conducted to evaluate the CDA's CVD Toolkit. All family physicians in Ontario, Canada were randomly allocated to receive the Toolkit, which includes several printed educational materials targeting CVD screening, prevention and treatment, either in spring 2009 (intervention arm) or in spring 2010 (control arm). Randomization occurred at the level of the practice. Forty family physicians from each arm will be recruited to participate, and the medical records for 20 of their diabetic patients at high risk for CVD will be retrospectively reviewed. Outcome measures will be assessed for each patient between July 2009 and March 2010. The primary outcome will be that the patient is receiving a statin. Secondary outcomes will include 1) the receipt of an angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor or angiotensin receptor blocker, 2) various intermediate measures (A1c, blood pressure, LDL-cholesterol, total-/HDL-cholesterol ratio, body mass index and waist circumference), and 3) clinical inertia (the failure to change therapy in response to an abnormal A1c, blood pressure or cholesterol reading). The analysis will be carried out using multilevel hierarchical logistic regression models to account for the clustered nature of the data. The group assignment will be a physician-level variable. In addition, a process evaluation study with six focus groups of family physicians will assess the acceptability of the CDA's Toolkit and will explore factors contributing to any change or lack of change in behaviour, from the perspectives of family physicians.
Discussion
Printed educational materials for physicians have been shown to exert small-to-moderate changes in patient care. The CDA's CVD Toolkit is an example of a practice guideline implementation strategy that can be disseminated to a wide audience relatively inexpensively, and so demonstrating its effectiveness at improving diabetes care could have important consequences for guideline developers, policy makers and clinicians.
Trial Registration
The trial is registered with http://www.clinicaltrials.gov, ID # NCT01026688
doi:10.1186/1745-6215-11-44
PMCID: PMC2867980  PMID: 20416080
24.  Capacity-building in family health 
Canadian Family Physician  2009;55(6):613-613.e6.
PROBLEM BEING ADDRESSED
Brazil, Chile, and Canada are among the countries where development and deployment of human resources have been central to health reform; however, it is unclear how the education and training of primary care workers is best accomplished.
OBJECTIVE OF THE PROGRAM
To implement a model of in-service training in primary health care for interdisciplinary teams of primary health care professionals from Brazil and Chile.
PROGRAM DESCRIPTION
This 5-module program targeted primary care providers from various disciplines who had at least 3 months of front-line experience. The program was offered in 2 formats: intermittent “in-country” training or an intensive course taught in Canada. In Brazil, the in-country training took place over a period of 8 to 12 months, during which 5 modules of 2 to 3 days each were interspersed with 2-month “action periods.” The intensive course taught in Canada was delivered to Chilean participants in Toronto, Ont, where 3 modules were offered to a group of 12 to 20 primary health care professionals over a 6-week period. The educational methodology combined short didactic presentations, whole group learning exercises, and small group problem-based learning sessions, including team projects that were completed in between each module and presented at the beginning of the next one. During the course, the participants learned how to perform computer database searches and assess the best evidence in the management of common problems.
CONCLUSION
Pretests, posttests, and evaluations of student projects demonstrated that participants had increased knowledge, as well as increased capacity to use the best evidence to address common problems in their communities. This is a promising model, adapted to the context of primary care reform in Latin America, with strong potential to support health human resource development and multidisciplinary care by front-line providers in other countries.
PMCID: PMC2694088  PMID: 19509207

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